If you’re a professional pressure washer, then you know that not all jobs are the same.
Choosing the right pressure washing chemicals for your job is important to get it done quickly and efficiently. And choosing the wrong chemicals can actually cause damage. That’s why it’s so important to get it right, the first time.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about pressure washing and choosing chemicals.
When is Pressure Washing Needed?
Not all pressure washing jobs are alike; as a professional, you know that better than anyone.
Some jobs call for a light cleaning with just a touch of chemical to break up the dirt and grime. Other jobs require high-pressure water blasting combined with industrial chemicals to remove something like graffiti from concrete or oil from metal.
For example, here’s a look at when pressure washing is typically needed:
- To remove mold and mildew from hard surfaces
- To clean greasy, grimy metal parts in preparation for painting
- To strip paint off of wood or metal
- To remove oil stains or spills on concrete or asphalt
This all depends on the surface you’re working with though. Rubber, for example, can’t be pressure washed the same way as polished marble. That means you need to know your surface before choosing chemicals. Let’s look at how to choose the right ones next.
Why Choose Industrial Chemicals?
Not all jobs require chemicals to get the job done.
Some jobs are better left with just water pressure alone. But for those tougher jobs that do call for chemicals, you want to be sure that your chemical of choice is tough enough to handle them. Industrial cleaners can be expensive and break down easily when exposed to sunlight over a period of time.
Making this decision is more complicated than it seems. If it feels overwhelming, you can always check out the pressure washer chemical guide.
Choosing the right solvent for your job is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. Here’s a list of things you need to consider before selecting a chemical:
How to Choose the Right Concentrate
The first thing you need to determine is how much pressure washing chemical you’ll need for the job.
Use this simple equation: Volume = Surface Area x Depth.
You can then convert that into gallons or liters depending on your unit of choice. For example, if you have an area of 1000 square feet and it is three inches deep, you will need 10 gallons of pressure washing chemicals to get the job done; or if it’s in liters, 30.
Keep that in mind going into the next section.
How to Choose The Right Chemicals
Now that you know the different types of pressure washer chemicals and how to choose them, make sure you take these tips into consideration:
1) Don’t Waste Your Money
Be sure that you’re buying enough chemical concentrate for your project and whether or not it’s compatible with your application equipment. There are many types of pressure washer chemicals to choose from, but be wise about the purchase.
Don’t overdo it; make the solution too strong and you could end up damaging the surface of whatever material you are cleaning. Always go by the manufacturer’s specifications for proper mixing ratios.
For example, you don’t want to use too much caustic material; it could eat away at the surface you’re cleaning if mixed too strongly.
2) Determine What Job Needs To Get Done
Is it light-duty or heavy-duty? What is the surface made of? Is there a right or wrong way to clean it? These are factors you should consider before choosing the right chemical for the job.
For example, if you’re cleaning brick and concrete, you’ll want to use a product that cuts the grime well; but if it is Venetian plaster or thin exterior paint, then something light may be better suited to do the job.
There are four types of pressure washing chemicals: alkaline (for oily surfaces like engine bays), acidic (for cleaning brick and concrete), neutral (for regular jobs that don’t require chemicals), and specialty (for specific surfaces like marble or gutters).
3) Know What Kind Of Equipment You Require
Do you need a pressure washer? If so, with what kind of specifications? What about an injection system for your application equipment? Determine what type of equipment is best suited for the job.
For example, if you are cleaning a brick wall, you will need to determine if it is better to use an attached injection system on your pressure washer or buy each chemical concentrate in a separate container.
4) Use Concentrated Chemicals Whenever Possible
It will save you money in the long run and allow you to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Diluting a concentrate will not only reduce its cleaning power, but it will also take you much longer to complete the job.
For example, if you have a 10% concentrate and mix it with water to make a 5% solution, you would have to add 20 times the amount of water to get the job done. In other words, if your concentrated solution required 50 gallons of water for an area of 1000 square feet, your diluted solution will need 2000 gallons of water.
When you dilute your concentrate, always follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the best results.
If you don’t use the proper concentration, it will affect the quality of your cleaning job (which in turn could affect your final bill). If you’re not sure what concentration to use, refer back to your job specifications; they will always list the recommended concentration in the project documents.
5) Consider The Material You Are Pressure Washing
No two jobs are ever alike, and neither are their surfaces.
Always consider the right type of cleaning chemicals for the application equipment you have at hand, always read product labels to make sure they’re compatible with your cleaning machine, and never mix incompatible chemicals as this could prove dangerous.
For example, if you are using an injection system, do not use chemicals with oil in them; it could clog your equipment. If you are not sure of what kind of chemical compatibility issues may arise, contact the manufacturer for further information; they should be able to provide you with guidance on making safe chemical choices.
Select the Right Pressure Washing Chemicals
Now that you know how to choose the right pressure washing chemicals, it’s time to get down to the basics: choose what kind of surface you’re pressure washing, determine what job needs to get done, and use these helpful tips as a guide.
When you’re ready to talk to some pressure washing experts about your next job, contact us!